Sweet Lew’s BBQ
923 Belmont Ave.
Sweet Lew’s barbecue is Lexington-style, pork shoulder only, seasoned with only salt and pepper, and smoked for 10 to 12 hours. Add any of an array of sauces—eastern North Carolina vinegar, Lexington-style red dip, South Carolina mustard, even mayonnaise-based Alabama white.
Plaza Midwood: 1401 Central Ave.
Park Road: 540 Brandywine Rd.
Ballantyne: 12410 Johnston Rd.
Huntersville: 16710 Birkdale Commons Pkwy.
With North Carolina pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked chicken, and dry or sauced ribs, there’s a ’cue for everyone—and traditional sides to pair.
Huntersville: 9230 Beatties Ford Rd.
Both locations serve eastern-style barbecue that Jeff prepares himself. He rubs pork butts with salt, pepper, and a secret seasoning, then cooks them for 12 to 13 hours on the wood-burning gas smoker. The menu also includes smoked brisket and baby back ribs.
Mac’s Speed Shop
South End: 2511 South Blvd.
Solid barbecue and cold beer (150 choices) in a bike-themed space draw fun-loving crowds, with additional locations in Matthews and Lake Norman.
The Improper Pig
Rea Farms: 9855 Sandy Rock Pl., Suite A
Fort Mill: 204 Main St., Ste. 102
Head here for eastern-style pulled pork, St. Louis-style ribs, Korean BBQ salmon, Chaobao tacos, and a “no pig” sandwich for vegetarians.
West Charlotte: 2216 Freedom Dr.
Feast on Carolina-style pork and Texas-style brisket, and grab a drink at the “Legends Counter” with custom plaques for Southern barbecue icons.